As I look back on my 30+ years in this industry, I realize the saying "the one thing you can count on in life is change" was never so true. I look at the policies, compliance and procedures that we go through now behind the scenes to take the best of care for you, and realize the lengths that the regulatory bodies of our industry have changed for the benefit and protection of the client. From an oversight standpoint, we are audited annually from First Allied's compliance department, have to fill out extensive self-audit procedures quarterly, and each and everything we do is monitored by the First Allied compliance department. We may be an independent office operating in Suffern, but we have dozens of sets of eyes watching everything we do. Personally, I welcome this oversight: it shows that we do things exactly as we should, with the highest of ethics.
There are so many changes along the way that affect our interactions with clients. I remember when I started long ago, to do a trade we filled in a paper trade ticket by hand, called it in, and entered all the information manually. Later, when those "magical" fax machines came into being (I never could understand how they worked) we would fax over the trade ticket. Now, all trades get done electronically, by computer in seconds or milliseconds. Life insurance applications were one page, front and back – now they're 30 pages. When I started I had the sum total of three mutual fund companies available to me: now there are thousands. I've gone from one 12" monitor on my desk to four 26’ monitors, plus my tablet and TV: there's a lot more information to see these days to do our job efficiently and keep up on the day's events minute by minute. Emails- a blessing or a curse? I get over 100 emails a day... what happened to calling on the phone? I do admit I miss talking to you guys when a quick email does the trick. Efficient? Yes. As personal? No. But, it's the way of the world, and if you don't keep up with technology, you get left in the dust – and I have no intention of seeing that happen. I watch my Grandson zip along on his iPad, seeing and doing things we dreamed of years ago – at single digit ages. Yes, things have changed for all of us. Due to gravitational forces, there is only two ways we can move: either forward or backward. For me, I try to move forward every day – it's rather exciting to see what each day holds for me, and for our clients.